(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association December 1999 Newsletter)
This is the speech that Gary Caputi gave when he presented Betty Henze and Ed Mesunas with the plaque at the awards dinner.
A first for this award going to an entire company. Started in 1933 by Otto Henze, and still a family owned business today, one fishing tackle company name stands above all others both in the United States and around the world and thats Penn. Otto Henze didnt just build fishing reels, be was the father of a legend that continue to grow from its home in Philadelphia, PA.
Today, Penn still leads the way offering 250 reels, rods and fishing accessories to avid fishermen the world over.
We honor Penn, not for its history in fishing tackle development and manufacturing, but for its history and continued efforts in fisheries conservation. Few companies in this country have given more to advocacy groups like the JCAA than Penn.
When we need prizes for fund raising, Penn is always there. When we need the political clout a make manufacturing company can bring to bear on political issues, Penn is ready to help.
When we ask for speakers to attend public hearings on regulations and proposed legislation, someone from Penn is always there. When promoting and advancing angler conservation, Penn leads the way. When we asked for Penn to field a candidate for the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council from Pennsylvania, a time consuming and often frustrating job, they offered up a sacrificial lamb, Ed Mesunas, who won appointment and now sits along with your representatives on the council, Dusty Rhodes and yours truly.
Sportsmen and fisheries advocacy groups like JCAA could not ask for a better friend than we have in the management and personnel from Penn and it is for that reason that we honor the entire company with the distinguished award of Sportspeople, or should I say, sportscompany of the year!
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